The Ability of Forensic Psychiatric Patients with Substance Use Disorder to Learn Neurofeedback

Sandra Fielenbach*, Franc C.L. Donkers, Marinus Spreen, Stefan Bogaerts

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Despite the increasing use of neurofeedback in clinical psychology, it is rarely used in forensic psychiatric settings. This study investigated whether forensic psychiatric patients (n = 19) diagnosed with substance use disorder were able to learn to control EEG-activity based on a sensorimotor rhythm/theta neurofeedback protocol. Criteria for qualifying patients as responders were established and scores on impulsivity measures and changes in level of craving over time were assessed. Results indicated that one in five patients was able to consistently change the targeted frequency bands. All patients improved on self-reported impulsivity measures and levels of craving, but only levels of craving were associated with responding to neurofeedback treatment. Patients were more able to up-train the sensorimotor rhythm magnitude than to down-train theta magnitude. Although these results are encouraging for some forensic patients, it is important to assess which patients will respond positively to the training and which will not. This requires more research.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)187-199
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Forensic Mental Health
Volume18
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jul 2019

Keywords

  • Impulsivity
  • substance use disorders
  • neurofeedback
  • offenders
  • EEG-learning
  • ATTENTION-DEFICIT/HYPERACTIVITY DISORDER
  • SLOW CORTICAL POTENTIALS
  • CHILDREN
  • IMPULSIVITY
  • ALCOHOL
  • ADHD
  • ABUSE
  • EEG

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